AN IRISH TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER
ONE OF AMAZON UK'S 'RISING STAR' BEST DEBUTS OF 2016
WINNER: BEST MYSTERY, INDEPENDENT PRESS AWARDS 2017 USA
SHORTLISTED FOR BOOKS ARE MY BAG IBA CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2016
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA JOHN CREASEY NEW BLOOD DAGGER 2017
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2016 BORD GAIS ENERGY IRISH BOOK AWARDS (CRIME)
Did she leave, or was she taken?
The day Adam Dunne's girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads 'I'm sorry - S' sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her.
Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate - and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before. To get the answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground...
Distress Signals is a highly confident and accomplished debut novel, impeccably sustained, with not a false note. The exploration of the often murky backstage workings of the luxury liner world is fascinating, and there is a psychologically acute portrait of a killer that is genuinely moving. We will hear a great deal more of this author. - Irish Times
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This unsettling psychological thriller opens when a woman, Sarah, fails to return home after a work trip to Barcelona. With no word from her except a handwritten note of apology—signed only with her initial—Sarah’s boyfriend Adam resolves to find her. His search leads him to the Celebrate—a huge yet claustrophobic cruise ship with maze-like corridors and stiflingly small cabins. As the complex mystery unfolds, Catherine Ryan Howard expertly weaves together three different subplots into one calamitous and unpredictable ending. Be warned: as soon you as begin reading Distress Signals, it’s impossible to put down.
In Howard's solid first novel, Sarah O'Connell leaves Cork, Ireland, aboard the cruise ship Celebrate for a business meeting in Barcelona. When Sarah fails to return from her Mediterranean trip, boyfriend Adam Dunne, an aspiring screenwriter, begins to worry. No one, including her parents, is able to contact her. The ship's owner offers Adam little help. Then Adam receives a package with Sarah's passport and a note saying only "I'm sorry S." The Irish police manage to connect Sarah with a Celebrate crew member, Ethan Eckhart. Adam later makes contact with Peter Brazier, whose wife disappeared from the same ship a year earlier and who got a package exactly like Adam's. Adam and Peter book passage on the Celebrate to seek Ethan and demand answers. Two additional story lines that of a troubled French boy and of a ship housekeeper eventually connect with Adam's in surprising ways, as life and death aboard a cruise ship prove very mysterious indeed.
Customer ReviewsSee All
It's a rare book that stops me from eating, sleeping etc etc just so I can carry on reading, but this is one of them. A thoroughly good read with lots of plot twists you couldn't possibly anticipate (I hate it when you can see what's coming). And now to bed.
Odd plot with everything tied up far too quickly at the end. I wasn’t gripped like other reviewers but it was an easy read and it was free.
A real page turner. Quite complicated, so just have to go along with what I read. Enjoyable , with so many twists and turns